Accession consists of materials documenting attempts by Mr. Ladner's aunt in England to locate him and his parents in Nazi-controlled Europe. Documents include photocopies of passports and correspondence from relatives, the International Red Cross and other aid organizations. Also included are documents related to his subsequent relocation to England and Canada.
William Ladner is a Holocaust survivor, born en route from Austria to Antwerp, Belgium in 1940. As a child, William Ladner and his mother fled to Belgium from their home in Austria following the arrest of his father by the Nazis. Will's parents had attempted to immigrate to Switzerland but were turned away. Both of Will's parents perished during the Holocaust. William's father was an [electrician] and his mother a nurse. At the time of their immigration, Belgium was occupied by Germany having capitulated on the terms of unconditional surrender on May 28, 1940. Germany invaded Belgium and Holland on May 10, 1940 (Plan Yellow). Desperate for work, Mrs. Ladner reported to an employment office but was quickly discovered to be Jewish and deported to Malines. Deportation trains from Malines to Auschwitz began on August 4, 1942. Will has records documenting the movement of his parents during the war up until their deaths. Will's mother arranged for his safekeeping during the war by placing him in an orphanage operated by a Catholic Convent before she was deported to Auschwitz where she was murdered. After the war, arrangements were made by a cousin [Schindler] who worked for the British Intelligence in Birmingham, as well as William's mother's sister, who resided in Birmingham, England. Will Ladner immigrated to England in January 1946 to join his aunt. He then moved to Canada. Much of the documentation relates to Will's aunt's attempts to locate her sister and nephew.